With a bit of fury now unleashed, Whitebeard sets the stage for the next phase of the battle.
What They Say:
The Navy pushes on in a last ditch effort stop the Whitebeard and allied pirates. And even though he has been wounded, Whitebeard leads the charge! But can the allies muster enough strength to push back against the Navy's deadly plans?
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Much of the battle to date has been a lot of fun, but the real higher-ups have all been standing on the sidelines watching events play out with only a little real interaction. With the play made by the Navy men to use Squard to take out Whitebeard having been made, and failed, Whitebeard is ready to get directly into things since his honor as a father to all his men has been called into question. His arrival on the field proper is certainly cause for concern for all since he's the world's strongest as they say, but it's all likely part of a larger trap playing out as the Marineford Navy men see it as an opportunity to finish off certain longstanding issues.
Interestingly, they do give a bit of time to Squard again as he realizes how he's been used and the shame he feels over it, which plays into his being told to knock it off and make it up by getting back into things on the right side. There's also a bit of quiet to the episode in this phase as the pirates get closer to the Navy side again which feels a little unsettling. There are things happening, but it's truly all the calm before the storm when Whitebeard gets hands on with the Navy big boys, literally, and the combination of his attack style and either the low key but dangerous music or the outright quiet makes it intense. Whitebeard is the kind of character that will definitely change up a fight when he gets involved, but even his hands on moment is but a small thing in light of what's in store for everyone next.
The scale of the fight changes significantly here and everyone is put at risk, which is not a surprise considering how the Navy upper command works and thinks about its own men. Whitebeard's power is shown here why it's legendary and even Luffy is surprised by it, though he does call into question Whitebeard's concern for his own men. What's welcome in this instance is that while it does move us closer physically to where Ace is, and puts the admirals in a position to get their own hands dirty, Luffy is back in play again as he's even closer and more desperate to get to Ace than before. The Navy though always has one more trick up its sleeve, which is almost unfortunate in this case because it does come across as a delaying tactic in the storyline more than anything else. It's threatening to be sure, but it comes at a time when things need to get more serious and this just slows it down as the momentum picks up again.
One Piece has a good follow-up episode to Squard's involvement against Whitebeard and we get to see Whitebeard himself showing off why he's the strongest in the world and leads such a powerful group of pirates and has the respect of those that don't sail with him. The Navy admirals get hands on again and there's a potential game changer in the works with how the battle will go with the way the Navy unleashes its latest trick. Everything moves at a snails pace in terms of truly getting closer to Ace, similar to Impel Down, and while some of it may make you cringe a bit at its obviousness, it does move things forward and adds to the intense overall nature of what's going on. This episode was a lot of fun and again has you excited to see what next week will bring and that's definitely a huge positive.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.